This summer if you’re spending your time in the sunshine at Sandymouth, Poldhu or another one of our many beautiful Cornish beaches- keep your eyes open for real treasure. You might spot divers, black octopuses, scuba and breathing apparatus, rigging nets… and perhaps the odd dragon.
Seventeen years after the cargo ship Tokio Express’ disastrous voyage; where 62 containers were washed into the ocean in a freak tidal accident. One of these containers housing approximately 5 million pieces of Lego is now starting to wash up on the coasts of Cornwall.
Despite the novelty of finding pirates and mini flippers in rock pools and hidden within the sand, this highlights the very real problem we have with marine littering. Sadly, shipping litter only accounts for 4% of marine littering. With the public, ashamedly, being the biggest contributor generating over 40% of all marine litter.
Marine Conservation Society research has shown that the problem is getting worse. Plastic litter on beaches has, shockingly, increased 140% since 1994. Which means about 46,000 pieces of plastic are floating in every square mile of ocean. With plastic unable to biodegrade, annually, it causes the death of over 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals die from entanglement and consumption of marine litter.
So this summer is a great opportunity to get the family involved with beach clean-up schemes around the county. Not only will this help the thousands of staff and volunteers protect our beaches but it is a fun way to engage and educate the next generation about the importance of proper waste disposal. And to join the mission of keeping our beaches clean for everyone, for ever.
To get involved with Family volunteering sign up at-
Gina, is a Media and Communications intern focusing on producing video to support the many upcoming National Trust projects. As a Graphic Design graduate, she is passionate about communicating inspiring ideas and important issues.